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Vol. 158.

February 11th, 1920.

[pg 101]

"If a burglar broke into my house," says Lady Beecham, "I should use the telephone to summon help." Lady
Beecham seems to have a sanguine temperament.

Asked how she would act in case a burglar broke into her house, Miss Iris Hoey said she would stand before
him and recite Shakspeare. If anybody else had said this we should have suspected a cruel nature.

A libel action arising, out of the representation by a German artist of the ex-Crown Prince as a baboon is to be
heard shortly. It is not yet known who is to prosecute on behalf of the local Society for the Prevention of
Cruelty to Animals.

Nine thousand officials have been appointed to control the food supplies in Petrograd. English Government
officials regard this arrangement as the work of an amateur.

It is said that the exchange crisis is regarded by Mr. C.B. Cochran as a deliberate attempt to divert attention
from the Dempsey contest.

The rumour that Carpentier and Dempsey, in order to avoid further fuss and publicity, have decided to fight it
out privately, appears to have no foundation.

Wrexham Education Committee is reconsidering its decision against teaching Welsh in the elementary
schools. The pathetic case of a local man who was recently convicted of stealing a leg of beef owing to his
being unable to give his evidence in Welsh is thought to have something to do with it.

A domestic servants' union has been formed and an advertisement for a good plain shop stewardess (two in
family; policeman kept) will, we understand, shortly appear in The Morning Post.

During the recent gales on the West Coast of Ireland the anemometer registered the unprecedented velocity of
one hundred-and-ten miles per hour. A number of cases of anemonia are reported from the Phœnix Park

According to Men's Wear, silk hats are to be increased in price by at least thirty per cent. Is it by this process,
we wonder, that they hope to drive Mr. Churchill out of business?

A pig and sty constituted first prize at a recent whist drive at Bishop's Waltham. We understand that a
difference of opinion between the winner and the pig as regards the user of the sty has ended fatally for the


Punch, February 11th, 1920.


It is reported that the Victory badge now being worn extensively in New York is to be replaced by another
bearing the inscription, "We did them."

"I intend to tour England," says a Prohibition lecturer, "and I will not be hurried." We recommend the railway.

A Tralee man charged with shooting a neighbour said he had no desire to break the law. It seems that he
mistook the man for a policeman.

A French physician declares that a gift for yawning is one of the most valuable health-assets. This should be
good news for revue-producers.

"Honesty," says Dr. Ingram, "is the best policy after all." All the same some of our profiteers seem to get
along pretty well, thank you.

The egg-laying competition promoted by The Daily Mail has proved a great success. It is most gratifying to
learn that the hens have done their best for "the paper that got us the shells."

"The influenza microbe," announces a medical journal, "has made its appearance in many parts of the country
and is slowly but surely making its way towards London." With any other Government than ours a simple
suggestion that the sign-posts en route should be reversed would have been at once adopted.

During the last four weeks exactly four hundred and ninety-nine rats have been destroyed in a small town in
South Bedfordshire. It is hoped that as soon as these figures are published a sporting rodent will give itself up
in order to complete the fifth century.

Punch, February 11th, 1920.

"Why haven't you got on spurs?"

"I was going to speak about that, Sir. I regret I accidentally omitted to put them on this morning, and
consequently have caught cold. So I was going to ask you to be kind enough to grant me leave until—"

"A champagne support was provided in the lower hall."—Local Paper.

Very sustaining, we feel sure.

"The paper supports the proposed formation of a first army of 'shock troops,' which would be
capable of preventing the mobilisation of a great Germy army."—Evening Paper.

Anything to keep the influenza at bay.

"The times for the incubation of the eggs of various birds are as under:—

Punch, February 11th, 1920.

Ostrich 41 days.

Gnu 49 days."—Poultry-Keeping.

"Gnus, indeed!" said the Emu.

[pg 102]

(deferentially hinting how others see her and what they think of her threatened repudiation of her President's

When you refuse to sign the Peace

Except with various "reservations,"

And prophesy a swift decease

Impinging on the League of Nations;

When you whose arms (we've understood)

Settled the War and wiped the Bosch out

Regard the whole world's brotherhood

As just a wash-out;

You say, in terms a little blunt,

"This scheme that you are advertising

Was all along a private stunt

Of Wilson's singular devising;

His game we weren't allowed to know;

Under a misty smile he masked it;

We never gave him leave to go

(He never asked it).

"And you, poor credulous Allies,

Found in this fellow, self-appointed,

The worth he had in his own eyes

Punch, February 11th, 1920.

And let him pose as God's anointed;

Taking no sort of pains to see

Whether or not he had a mandate,

Like puppy-dogs the other Three

Out of his hand ate."

But how if we had queered his claim

Or questioned his credentials, saying,

"Who is this Woodrow What's-his-name?

And what's the rôle he thinks he's playing?

Is he a Methodist divine?

Or does he boom Chicago bacon?"—

I think that I can guess the line

You would have taken.

"Behold a Man," I hear you say,

"Of peerless wit and ripe instruction,

Elect of Heaven and U.S.A.—

Surely an ample introduction;

He comes to put Creation right;

He brings no chits—he doesn't need 'em;

Who doubts his faith will have to fight

The Bird of Freedom!"


"Where do you get servants from?" I asked.

"From small ads.," said Phyllis promptly.

Punch, February 11th, 1920.

I picked up the paper from the floor where I had thrown it in the morning. My wife is one of those rare women
who always leave things where you put them. It is this trait that endears her to me. I ran my trained eye over
an ad. column.

"Got it at once," I said with pardonable pride. "How's this?—'General (genuine), stand any test trd. £70
possess. s. hands yrs. s.a.v.'"

"I like genuine people," said Phyllis thoughtfully. "And under the circumstances"—(here she looked hard at
me, as if I were a circumstance)—"under the circumstances I think we ought to have one that will stand any
test. Seventy pounds is out of the question, of course, but she might come for less when she sees how small
we are. What does 's. hands yrs.' stand for?"

"I don't know," I said; "I can only think of 'soft hands for years.'"

"I should like her," said Phyllis. "Their hands are the one thing against Generals. She must be a nice girl to
take such care of them. Think how careful she'd be with the china. What's 'trd.'?"

"I'm afraid it must mean tired," I said.

"Oh, she'd soon get rested here," said Phyllis; "I don't think that need be against her. She's probably been in a
hard place lately. Are there any more?"

"Plenty," I said. "How does this one strike you?—'General. no bacon. possess. 2 rms. £45 wky. s.a.v.'"

"I like that one," said Phyllis. "She must be an awfully unselfish girl to go without bacon. I don't see how we
are going to spare two rooms, though, unless she's willing to count the kitchen as one. Forty-five pounds a
week must be a printer's error. But we can easily afford forty-five pounds a year."

"It may mean that she's 'weakly,'" I suggested.

"That wouldn't matter much," said Phyllis; "and I like her the better for being honest about it."

"'Wky.' might stand for 'whisky,'" I hinted darkly.

Phyllis blanched. "Then she's no good," she said; "I simply couldn't stand one that drinks. What's the next one

I read on: "Domestic oil no risk. 6 dys. trd. s. hands 10 yrs. s.a.v."

"I wonder whether that means that she can cook on an oil-stove or that she can't cook on any other kind? And
does the 'no risk' refer to her or the stove? It's not very clear. I don't think we'll take up this one's references.
Besides I shouldn't like one that was tired for six days."

"Out of every seven," I added, "and the seventh day would be the Sabbath, and her day off."

"Go on to the next," said Phyllis firmly.

The next one merely said; "General. Kilburn tkg. £40 1 rm. s.a.v."

"It would be nice to have a taking sort of girl," I thought (unfortunately aloud).

Punch, February 11th, 1920.

"We won't think of her, the hussy!" said Phyllis. "Pass me the paper, please."

"They all seem to want 's.a.v.,'" she said. "What do you suppose it means? I wish they wouldn't use so many
abbreviations. 'S.a.' stands for Sunday afternoon, of course, but I can't think what the 'v.' is for. Of course we'll
give them Sunday afternoons free, if that's what it means. I only wonder they don't want an evening off in the
week as well. I call them most reasonable. And there are so many to choose from. I always understood from
mother that they're so hard to get."

Then she turned the paper over.

"Oh, you are stupid!" she said. "You've been looking at the 'Shops and Businesses for Sale' column."

"So've you," I snapped.

And then I regret to say we had our first quarrel.

I told Phyllis firmly that she is not at all tkg., nor would she stand any test; that no one could engage her,
much less marry her, without taking risks; that she hadn't had s. hands for yrs., that she wouldn't go without
her bacon for anyone, and that I should be jolly thankful if she would take every blessed s.a.v.

I admit that Phyllis was more dignified. She merely sailed out of the room, remarking that I made her trd.

"Our Invincible Navy."

In continuation of a paragraph in his last issue, Mr. Punch expresses his regret if the article which appeared
under the above title in these pages on January 14th has unwittingly given offence to any one of his readers
through others having connected him with the character of Reginald McTaggart.

[pg 103]

"Our Invincible Navy." 7

Punch, February 11th, 1920.

"Our Invincible Navy." 8

Punch, February 11th, 1920.



[Mr. Asquith has pronounced himself cautiously in favour of a Capital Levy, on the condition, amongst
others, that it must not be allowed to discourage the habit of saving.]

[pg 104]


Actor (whose knowledge of Shakspeare is greater than his golf). "'O, pardon me, thou bleeding piece of


(Extracted from various issues of "The Daily Mandate.")


To the Editor of "The Daily Mandate."


Punch, February 11th, 1920.

Sir,—For a number of years I have been experimenting in wireless telephony with my installation on the
heights of Lavender Hill. On several occasions recently I have been puzzled by mysterious ringings of the bell
attached to the instrument, which have obviously been set up by long-distance waves. On taking up the
receiver, however, I have been unable to make out any coherent message, but only a succession of irregular
squeaks, although once I distinctly, heard a word which I can only transcribe as "Gurroo." I have no doubt in
my own mind that one of the more advanced planets is trying to get in touch with us by means of wireless
telephony, and that once we have deciphered the code we shall be able to converse freely with its inhabitants.
I myself incline to the belief that these rings emanate from Saturn, which, in spite of its great distance from
the earth, is just as likely to wish to communicate with us as any other planet.

Yours faithfully,

Diogenes Dottle, F.R.S.


Mr. Dottle's remarkable letter, published in our issue of yesterday, suggesting that inhabitants of Saturn have
been endeavouring to communicate with the earth by means of wireless telephony, has created profound
excitement in scientific and other circles. To a representative of The Daily Mandate a number of well-known
men expressed their views on the matter, which will undoubtedly stimulate further investigation into the
momentous possibilities of this epoch-making revelation. The opinions advanced, which are, on the whole,
highly favourable to Mr. Dottle's theory, are as follows:—

Sir Potiphar Shucks, the famous astronomer: "The possibility that Saturn is inhabited is one that, in the
absence of incontrovertible evidence either way, should not lightly be set aside. Assuming that it is inhabited,
that its people are skilled in the use of wireless telephony and that it is possible to set up waves of sufficient
intensity to travel all the way from Saturn to us, I see no reason why communications of the nature suggested
by Mr. Dottle should not at some future date become an accomplished fact."

Mr. Artesian Pitts, the well-known imaginative historian: "I have long held the belief that Saturn is inhabited
by a type of being possessing a cylinder-like body composed of an unresisting pulp, a high dome-shaped head
filled with gas, and long tentacles, bristling with electricity, through which all sensations are emitted and
received. These tentacles would act as an ideal telephonic apparatus, so that there is every likelihood of Mr.
Dottle's having actually received a message from Saturn. I take 'Gurroo' to be Saturnian for 'Hello.'"

Signor Tromboni, the pioneer of wireless telephony: "We are making [pg 105] arrangements to test Mr.
Dottle's interesting theory, and for this purpose are erecting a special installation on the top of Mt.
Kilimanjaro, which is several thousand feet higher than Lavender Hill. At our own stations we have frequently
noticed mysterious ringings, which we have hitherto ascribed to carelessness on the part of operators; but Mr.
Dottle's letter opens up a new world of possibilities. The Daily Mandate is to be congratulated on the
prominence it has given to the subject, which has already had the effect of sending Tromboni shares up
several points."

Mr. G. Shawburn: "It is an insult to Creation to assume that ours is the only populated planet. Of course
Saturn is inhabited, but, unlike our own world, by people of intelligence. In the matter of mental advancement
Saturn can make rings round the earth. All the same I don't for one moment suppose that Mr. Dottle knows
what he's talking about."

The Postmaster-General: "Nothing is known in the Department under my control of telephone calls having
been received from Saturn or the neighbourhood. I do not propose for the present to take any steps in the


Punch, February 11th, 1920.
The Lord Mayor: "Saturn is a long way off."


(Extract from leading article.)

"... Again we ask, 'What is the Government doing?' For several days now our columns have been ringing with
the world-wide acclamation of this stupendous discovery, beside the potentialities of which the wildest efforts
of imaginative literature are reduced to pallid and uninspired commonplaces. Even so cautious a scientist as
Sir Potiphar Shucks has declared that the idea of Saturn being inhabited is one that 'should not lightly be set
aside,' and has announced his conviction that under favourable conditions communication with that planet
should in the near future become 'an accomplished fact.' Other eminent leaders of thought and action,
including Signor Tromboni, are even more enthusiastic in their reception of the great theory first given to the
world by Mr. Diogenes Dottle in a letter to The Daily Mandate. But the Postmaster-General is content to treat
the question with the airy scepticism and obstructive complacency that have rendered the London Telephone
service a byword of inefficiency, and refuses even to make a grant in aid of the work of investigation.

"In these circumstances the proprietors of The Daily Mandate have much pleasure in announcing that they
will pay the sum of ten thousand pounds to the first man, woman or child in the British Empire who can
produce evidence of having received an intelligible telephonic message from Saturn, and a further sum of one
hundred thousand pounds to the first person to send a message to that planet and receive a clear reply. The
services of a Board of distinguished experts are being engaged for the purpose of testing and adjudicating all

"Meanwhile the Postmaster-General must go."


Punch, February 11th, 1920.


Punch, February 11th, 1920.

Indignant Egoist. "Be careful up there what you're dropping. That precious nearly hit me!"

"It may safely be said that there are more millionaires to the square yard in Bradford than in
any other city in the country, not even excepting London or New York."—Daily Paper.

The news that Britain has annexed the United States will comfort those who thought it was the other way

"The incessant singing of a cricket in a London church compelled the preacher to shorten his
sermon."—The Children's Newspaper.

We may now expect increased enthusiasm for the "Sunday Cricket" movement.

[pg 106]

There was a faint scuffling sound behind the wainscot.

"There it is again," said Araminta.

"Not a doubt of it," I replied, turning pale.

Thrusting on my hat I rushed up the hill to the Town Hall and asked to see the Clerk of the Borough Council

"I have reason to suspect," I said in a hoarse low whisper, as soon as I was shown into the man's presence,
"that our premises are in imminent danger of being infested. Counsel me as to what I should do."

"It is your duty as a good citizen to take such steps as may from time to time be necessary and reasonably
practicable to destroy the vermin," he said in a rather weary and mechanical tone.

"I hope I am not one to take my civic duties lightly," I replied with some hauteur, "but observe that I merely
said I had reason to suspect the imminence of the peril. I should like to know the legal definition of
infestment, if you please. I cannot definitely say that house-breaking has taken place as yet. I do not know that
there has even been petty larceny. There may have been merely loitering with felonious intent."

"What is the size of your premises?" he inquired.

"It is more a messuage than a premises," I explained. "About twelve feet by ten, I should say—speaking
without the lease."

"And how many vermin do you expect it to be about to harbour?"

"None have actually hove in sight at present," I said reassuringly, "but there is a sound of one in the
offing—in the wainscoting, I mean."

"In a residence of your size I should say that a single mouse would constitute infestation within the meaning
of the Act, so soon as it forces an ingress. It will then be your bounden duty to demolish it. How about

Punch, February 11th, 1920.

purchasing a trap?"

"You are sure that is better than hiding behind the arras and hitting it over the head with a pole-axe?" I
inquired anxiously, "or proffering it a bowl of poisoned wine?"

"Poison is no longer supplied free," he answered coldly, and I went out.

Very luckily, as I hastened up the hill, I had observed a building with the words, "Job Masters. Traps for
Hire," written upon a wooden board. I went inside and found an elderly man sitting at a desk in a small office.
He looked extremely patient. "Are you Job?" I asked breathlessly. "I have come to buy a mouse-trap."

Appearances, of course, are quite often deceptive. They were in this case. The elderly man was very much
annoyed. When he had explained matters forcibly to me I went on down the hill and entered an ironmonger's.

"I wish to buy a trap to catch a mouse," I said to the assistant behind the counter.

"Certainly, Sir. What size?" said the lad politely.

"Small to medium," I replied, rather baffled. "It has only a medium-sized scratch."

He showed me a peculiar apparatus made of wire and wood containing apparently a vestibule, two reception
rooms, staircase and first-floor lobby, with an open window and a diving-board. Underneath the window was
a small swimming tank.

"I don't want a hydropathic exactly," I explained. "I propose to exterminate this rodent, not to foster longevity
in it. How does it work?"

He pointed out that, after examining the various apartments, the animal would be allured by the fragrance of a
small portion of cheese placed above the diving-board; overbalancing, it would then be projected into the
water, where it would infallibly drown. "It is a thoroughly humane instrument," he assured me, "and used in
the best 'omes."

I bought it and went on to a cheese foundry. Araminta was rather scornful of the sanatorium when I came
home with it and set it, loaded and trained, on the dining-room floor; but the children were delighted. It ranked
only a little lower than the pantomime, and if only we could have secured an outside visitor to it I believe that
it would have defeated the Zoo. To visit it with a sort of wistful hope became the principal treat of the day.
But, alas, the mansion remained untenanted. Sometimes during a lull in conversation we would hear the faint
scuffling again, but after about six days I became convinced, by kneeling down and placing my ear to the
carpet like an Indian, that the noise was even fainter than it had been at first. A terrible suspicion seized me. I
dashed out and rang the bell of the flat next door.

"It is just as I feared," I said to Araminta on returning a few moments later. "We are not going to be infested
after all. The vermin has been sighted in No. 140b."

"We must make the best of it," she said, trying to speak cheerfully, "though it is hard on the children, poor

"I wasn't thinking of the children," I replied bitterly; "I was thinking of the expense. If we had been living in a
house instead of a flat we could at least have deducted it from the rates."

I sat down and made out a bill as follows to the Clerk of the Borough Council, heading it:—

Punch, February 11th, 1920.
On Account of Spurious Infestment.
s. d.
To one Mouse Institute and Aquarium 5 6
" Cheese 0 6
" Labour at 2/6 per hour 0 71/2
Total 6 71/2

The man replied coldly that the householder was responsible for all expenditure incurred in precautionary
measures and that the Council was in no way liable for the costs resulting from an offensive that failed to
materialize. He ended with the rather rude postscript, "What kind of cheese did you use?"

This was a bit sickening. However, by threatening to lay information against him, I have at last succeeded in
inducing the occupier of 140b to take over the abattoir at a very satisfactory valuation. It was between that and
buying his mouse.


[Dreamed after reading in a daily paper that "any style of dress that lessens one's
self-confidence should be tabooed" (sic).]

I travelled from the Sussex hills

With confidence divine,

Full of the conscious power that thrills

My heart when life is mine,

And strode to Lady Fancy Frills

With whom I was to dine.

Her guests had come from Clubs and Courts

And Halls of wealthy Jews;

As they surveyed my running shorts

I felt my courage ooze,

While conscious power, grown out of sorts,

Leaked through my canvas shoes.

Then I re-travelled South by West

Punch, February 11th, 1920.

Inflated with a joy

Which in the suit I called my best

No buffet could destroy;

I may remark I'd come full-dressed

From lunch at the Savoy.

But when the hills began to shout

I coloured to the roots,

And when the valleys cried, "Get out!"

To the last word in suits,

My joy, displaced by sudden doubt,

Leaked through my spatted boots.

Of the mysterious Marconigrams:—

"They may be the effort of sentiment beings in some neighbouring planet to communicate
with us."—Evening Paper.

Can we have broken in on a conversation between Venus and Mars?

[pg 107]

Punch, February 11th, 1920.

Punch, February 11th, 1920.



[pg 108]


"Will you stand back, Sir? You're spoiling the picture."

(With the British Army in France.)

"I've seen rivetters at New York pie-foundries and stew-specialists on North Sea trawlers," said Percival
severely, "but I never realised how monotonous feeding could be till I got into a Mess controlled by Binnie."

Binnie puffed his pipe severely, being of the tough fibre which enables Mess Presidents to endure. Frederick,
who had been silent, rose from his seat, heaved a distressing sigh and left the room.

"There's the moral that adorns the tale, you—you public danger!" continued Percival, indicating Frederick's
retreating figure. "Look to what a condition that once bright youth has been brought by your endless stews and

"Not a bit of it," answered Binnie lightly. "Frederico could eat patent breakfast food and toasted doormats
without taxing his digestion. His complaint is the tender passion. I recognise the symptoms."


Punch, February 11th, 1920.

"It looks like an acute attack, anyhow," said Percival, rising, "and prompt counter-irritants are indicated. But
I'll confirm your diagnosis first."

Inside Frederick's quarters the sound of regular and sustained sighing suggested that the sufferer was in the
throes of a spasm of melancholy. Percival entered and narrowly escaped being drawn into the vortex of a
particularly powerful inspiration.

"Freddy, old pard," he said kindly, "why so triste? If the trouble's financial, my cheque-book is unreservedly
at your service. Havin' no balance at the bank I've no use for it myself."

"It's not that—at least not worse than usual," groaned Frederick.

"Then tell me all about it."

"It's a long story," commenced Frederick.

"Let me off with a synopsis," interrupted Percival.

"Once upon a time," continued Frederick, "there was a big war, which made quite a stir in the daily papers and
was a common subject of discussion in the clubs. There were many casualties, amongst them being a blithe
young laddy who came down to the Base with a fractured maxilla caused by nibbling an M. and V. ration
without previously removing the outside tin—or something of the sort. He was sent to hospital and devotedly
tended by a Sister of exquisite beauty—such a figure and such hair! It wasn't exactly auburn and not exactly
burnished bronze—"

"And it wasn't pale puce and it wasn't ultramarine," broke in Percival impatiently. "Tell me what it was, not
what it wasn't."

"I can't. It baffled description. Well, they drifted apart; but often afterwards, when that young laddy was
studying his Manual of Military Law in his lonely dug-out, the image of Sister Carruthers glowed on the
printed page. But I never met her again until the other day, when I was having a gentle toddle round
Quelquepart and saw her gliding along the quay. Something gripped me by the heart; I took my courage in
both hands and spoke to her.

"'Don't you remember me, Sister?' I said. 'It was you who nursed me in No. 99 General.'

"She looked at me coldly.

"'As you are the third young officer who has adopted a similar method of introduction this afternoon,' she said,
'you must forgive me if I ask for some confirmation.'

"'Surely you haven't forgotten?' I cried. 'You drew me a sweet little design in dots and dashes to hang over my
bed. When I was evacuated to England I wanted to thank you, to ask if we might meet again, but you thrust a
clinical thermometer between my teeth and told me not to speak till you gave me permission. Then you left
me, and I was whisked away to the boat clinging grimly to the thermometer, inarticulate and heartbroken.'

"'And I presume your object in [pg 109] speaking to me to-day is to return the thermometer?' she said primly.

"That's where I took the full count," continued Frederick, sadly. "If I could have produced any old thing in the
thermometer line my bona fides would have been established an' I could have gone ahead like cotton-mill
shares. Instead of which, she'd said Good-day and gone while I was thinkin' out explanations. Since that time

Punch, February 11th, 1920.

I've been parading Quelquepart simply bristling with thermometers, but I've never met her again."

"The old Army fault of unpreparedness," remarked Percival. "You ought to go to hospital."

"Don't be juvenile! What have hospitals to do with heartache?"

"Everything, if you go to the right one—the one where your ministering angel ministrates, for instance."

"Percival, old ace," said Frederick, with admiration, "you'll rank among the world's great thinkers yet. Turn on
the current again and tell me what is my complaint."

"Digestive trouble," said Percival promptly. "There's already been rumours about, and you'll be doing a public
service by going to dock with dyspepsia. Binnie will be so stricken by remorse that he'll at once start
providing the Mess with decent food."

"Then for your sakes I'll rehearse the symptoms. But my curse will be on your head if I get to the wrong

It was unfortunate that the M.O. was in an unsympathetic mood next morning. He thumped Frederick on the
lower chest and pooh-poohed the idea of hospital. "All you want is a few of these tablets," he said, "and you'll
be fit as nails in a day or two."

Frederick crawled away dispiritedly to confide in Percival. That sapient youth counselled perseverance.

"You must go right off your feed," he said. "Let the doc. see you feebly pecking and he'll soon get alarmed. In
the meantime I'm off to give Binnie critical accounts of your appetite and send him to market right away."

Only a burning passion and stealthy bars of chocolate could have sustained Frederick through the next few
days. To sit down to breakfast with a healthy appetite and refuse his egg and rasher put the biggest possible
strain on his constancy. His task was made doubly difficult by the scheming of Percival, who was constantly
inciting Binnie to procure fresh delicacies.

"You've crocked poor Freddy," he said; "and there will be others going the same way if you don't improve the
messing. Now I saw some nice plump chickens to-day in the...."

Thus harried, that evening Binnie provided a dinner that almost reduced Frederick to breaking-point. Only the
fact that the M.O. was sitting opposite gave him strength to refuse the soup and fish, to trifle with the chicken
and turn wearily from the sweet. As the savoury was being served he caught a scrap of conversation across the

"... to the boat to see her off for demob.," the M.O. was saying to the Padre. "Jolly nice girl—Jim Carruthers'
daughter, you know."

Frederick pricked up his ears.

"I remember," said the Padre. "She used to be at 99 General."

There was no doubt who was the girl referred to. Frederick sat back in his chair with a heavy sense of
disappointment and loss. He felt acutely sorry for himself. But presently above the pain in his heart there arose
a stronger and more compelling feeling.

Punch, February 11th, 1920.

"Corporal," he said, "I think after all I'll try one of those crab patties. Or you might tell the waiter to bring in

Conversationalist. "Extraordinary crime wave we're having—er—ah—for the time of year."

[pg 110]

"Some likes picturs o' women" (said Bill) "an' some likes 'orses best,"

As he fitted a pair of fancy shackles on to his old sea-chest;

"But I likes picturs o' ships" (said he), "an' you can keep the rest.

"An' if I was a ruddy millionaire with dollars to burn that way,

Instead of a dead-broke sailorman as never saves his pay,

I'd go to some big paintin' guy, an' this is what I'd say:—

"'Paint me The Cutty Sark' (I'd say) 'or the old Thermopylæ,

Or The Star of Peace as I sailed in once in my young days at sea,

Punch, February 11th, 1920.

Shipshape an' Blackwall fashion too, as a clipper ought to be.

"'An' you might do 'er outward bound, with a sky full o' clouds,

An' the tug just droppin' astern an' gulls flyin' in crowds,

An' the decks shiny-wet with rain an' the wind shakin' the shrouds.

"'Or else racin' up-Channel with a sou'-wester blowin',

Stuns'ls set aloft and alow an' a hoist o' flags showin',

An' a white bone between her teeth, so's you can see she's goin'.

"'Or you might do 'er off Cape Stiff in the 'igh latitudes yonder,

With her main-deck a smother of white an' her lee-rail dipping under,

And the big greybeards drivin' by an' breakin' aboard like thunder.

"'Or I'd like old Tuskar somewhere around—or Sydney 'eads, maybe,

Or Bar Light, or the Tail o' the Bank, or a glimp o' Circular Quay,

Or a junk or two, if she's tradin' East, to show it's the China Sea.

"'Nor I don't want no dabs o' paint as you can't tell what they are,

Whether they're shadders or fellers' faces or blocks or blobs o' tar,

But I want gear as looks like gear an' a spar that's like a spar.

"'An' I don't care if it's North or South, the Trades or the China Sea,

Shortened down or everythin' set, close-hauled or runnin' free;

You paint me a ship as is like a ship an' that'll do for me.'"


Punch, February 11th, 1920.

Old-fashioned Aunt. "Good heavens, child! You're not going out like that? You look like a chorus-girl."

Modern Maiden. "Oh, come, Aunt! I don't look as horribly respectable as that, surely?"

Egyptian Darkness.

"Several letters have appeared in the native Press in some of which they ask Minindirect way,
as they have done, but in a indirect way they have done but in a clear clear manner which
cannot be interpreted two ways."—Egyptian Gazette.

Or, so far as we are concerned, even one way.

[pg 111]

Egyptian Darkness. 23
Punch, February 11th, 1920.

Egyptian Darkness. 24
Punch, February 11th, 1920.

Starving Europe. "GOD HELP ME!"


["Relief would be found in the resumption of industrial life and activity and the imposition of adequate
taxation. The American people should not be called upon to finance the requirements of Europe in so far as
they result from failure to take these necessary steps."— Mr. Carter Glass, Secretary of the United
States Treasury.]

[pg 113]


[In common with everything else, wild animals have risen considerably in price.]

In other times I might have made

For those wild lands where growls the grisly,

Have tracked him (with some native aid)

And held a broken-hearted Bisley;

Now that my Maud has murmured, "Nay,"

Shrinking from matrimony's tight knot,

I might have acted thus, I say

(Contrariwise, I might not).

In any case to-day I shrink

From thus evading Sorrow's trammels;

A sense of duty bids me think

How costly are the larger mammals;

To kill them just to soothe my mind

Would seem to savour of the wasteful,

A thing all patriot poets find

Exceedingly distasteful.

Not mine the immemorial cure;

Punch, February 11th, 1920.

The voice of conscience warns me off it;

I'll leave the following of the spoor

To those who follow it for profit;

I feel they would not thank me for

Turning the jungle to a shambles,

Who speculate in lions or

Have elephantine gambles.

And so this poet will not roam;

Remaining on his native heath, he

Will seek an anodyne at home,

Nor look beyond the Thames for Lethe;

And if he fades away, denied

The usual balm in cardiac crises,

Say only this of him, "He died

A prey to soaring prices."


Punch, February 11th, 1920.



The Weekly Dispatch symposium, in which various celebrities discuss the way to act in the event of a burglar
being found in the house, shows the need for a little advice in case of emergencies. We append the following
very helpful hints:—

The old plan of offering a burglar a cigarette and asking him to take a chair while you telephone to the police
is not now so successful as in the past. The best plan is to tackle the fellow right away. For this purpose you
should step behind him, take hold of his coat and force it over his face. Then tie his left arm to his right leg
across the back. Properly carried out, this method rarely fails.

To attract the attention of the young lady behind a post-office counter, fire a revolver three times in
succession, using blank cartridges. After first aid has been rendered to the attendants step up to the counter
and purchase your stamp.

If you should be knocked down by a taxi, don't be alarmed and try to creep out from under the thing. And
don't blame the driver. Apologise to him, and, as you are being carried away, shake hands and tell him that
while it was his cab it was your fault. Treated in this manner, drivers are not nearly so offensive when they
knock you down the next time.

Should the telephone-bell ring in your house, don't get excited. Keep calm. Remember General Grant.
Remove the women and children to a place of safety, lift off the receiver and say, "Good Heavens! Whoever


Punch, February 11th, 1920.
can it be?"

Let us suppose that you are being attacked by a man with a chopper. Wait until the weapon is well poised over
your head. Just as he begins the down stroke step aside smartly. The hatchet will then be found buried in the
ground. This means that bygones are bygones.

[pg 114]

"Are they rising the day, Sir?"


"Ah, weel, just bide a wee. They aye tak best in the cool of the evening."


Except for the fact that they had different sets of parents and were born some hundred miles apart, Peter and
Judy are practically twins. Consequently, after an interval of three months, strenuous efforts were made by the
two young mothers to bring about a proper introduction between the two wonders.

The occasion was to be one of great importance, for it was Judy's very first tea-party, marking, as it were, the
dawn of her social career. For days the post-office wrestled with the correspondence necessary to bring about
the meeting. The mothers, both in person and by proxy, had scoured the precincts of Kensington and Oxford
Street respectively for the necessary adornments to do their offspring justice, changing their minds so often
that the assistants came to take as much interest in the party as if they were going to it themselves.


Punch, February 11th, 1920.
And yet, when the great moment arrived and the strong silent man was borne into the room, round-eyed and
expectant, he found his hostess already tired out with her first tea-party and fast asleep. He could scarcely
believe his eyes; nor could Judy's scandalised father.

Peter was very good about it. He bore this chilly reception stoically, deprecating any desire to wake the
sleeping beauty—deprecating, in fact, any interest in her or her cot whatsoever. Ignoring the efforts of
the Big People to fix his attention by pointing him directly at the main object of the tea-party (they should
have known that babies like looking the other way always) he remained passively interested in a fascinating
brass knob, the while getting his gloves into a satisfactory state of succulence before the Big People should
take it on themselves to remove them.

At last his patience is rewarded. The hostess, sighing sleepily, is beginning to show signs of realising her
responsibilities. Two immense arms, two enormous fistfuls of fingers gather her up and she is borne through
the air triumphantly.... Peter and Judy are introduced.

I doubt whether any two people in this world ever displayed greater indifference. Solemnly they turn their
eyes upon every other object in the room except each other. It is not until the number of permutations in
which two people can look at everything is exhausted mathematically that their eyes meet at last.

Then they cut each other dead.

Side by side they recline on the couch. Judy, pouting with sleep, is buffeting her face with her little white
boxing-gloves, while Peter stares fascinated at the fire, quite sure that social functions are not in his line.

With only three months' experience, Judy has not yet attained complete mastery of the art of manipulating
difficult things like limbs. Inadvertently, and in excess of zeal to kick higher than any other baby, she has
landed out a beautiful backhander and caught Peter hard in the tummy. Peter's eyes open wide. Creases appear
on his face and widen. A cavern opens and a roar follows:—


"Hullo!" (Judy looks up in amazement, for there is only one noise in the house like that, and she has the sole
rights of it). "Hullo, is that me? I didn't know I was doing it"—(the roars from Peter
continue)—"but I suppose I am. I must be. Let's have a lot more of this very good noise I am
making—Ya—o-o!" [pg 115]

The duet produces a crescendo astounding to them both, for there has never been a noise so wonderful as this
in all their experience. Then to Judy a very strange thing happens. She pauses for breath, but the noise goes
on. "This is amazing—how do I do it?..."

She joins in again—and then Peter stops. He too is puzzled vaguely. However, bother introspection, the
concert proceeds, both artists doing their level best. Now one of them pauses, now the other, and at length
serious doubts begin to creep in. There is something queer afoot—something....

The matter resolves itself. Turning suddenly they behold each other, both yelling splendidly. Amazement!
Cavern confronts cavern! Face to face they roar their hardest, demanding the reason for this strange
phenomenon, "this other me who does when I don't."

They pause—their mouths remain agape. Slowly they close and smiles succeed. Joy! A
reasonable-sized face at last. What a relief after the enormous faces, the great mouths, the Cyranese noses of


Punch, February 11th, 1920.

the Big People who are wont to come and peer. Here at last is a true face, a face that—no, they both
agree not to dwell unduly on the discovery.

Indifferent to each other once again they regard the special objects of their attention, their hands waving
gently in the air, seeking the fairies that babies' hands are always trying to catch.

Ha! their hands have met.

"Hoo! It's a reasonable hand. It's got proper fingers, not stumps of bananas."

"Moreover," says Peter politely, "if you care to take advantage of my offer you will find that it is properly
moistened, succulent and suitable to a baby's taste. You needn't mind; I prepared it myself."

"Goo! Gool-gur!" All is peace and chuckles. Hand-in-hand they survey their mothers. "Our mothers,
yours—mine. Ha, ha—he, he—goo!"

The inner thoughts of the two babies may be hidden from me (I accept the punishment), but I know—I
know what the two mothers are thinking of. Twenty years hence, a paragraph in The Times:
"Peter—Judy—" Oh, you fatuous mothers!


"Public interest remains unabated in the remarkable occurrences at the poultry-house farm at
Brickendon, where spirit rappings in the morse code have been heard for weeks past.... One
question put to the spirit last night was 'How many people are outside?' And the reply was
'Rorty,' which proved to be correct."—Liverpool Paper.

And possibly furnishes some clue to the identity of the spirit concerned.


Punch, February 11th, 1920.

Officer. "What have you got there?"

Lighterman. "Coal."


Punch, February 11th, 1920.

Officer. "I can see that. What kind of coal?"

Lighterman. "Black coal."


When first I learned to play the fool

In various (unaccepted) verses

There was, I found, one golden rule

For poets who would line their purses.

"If ye," it ran, "to wealth would mount,

For silk attire would change your tatters,

Mere quantity will never count;

Quality is the thing that matters."

Broadly this precept, too, was laid

On grosser forms of human labour;

E.g., on Jones's antique trade,

Or Brown, the sausage-man, his neighbour;

Until of late, throughout a land

Reeling from strikes and "reconstruction,"

A cry was heard on every hand,

A clamour for "Increased Production."

While "makers," then, gird on their might

And merchants buzz like bees in clover;

When Jones is sawing day and night

And Brown shows twice his last turnover;

Shall I not follow where they've led

And, at the Premier's invitation,


Punch, February 11th, 1920.

Double my output, Mr. Ed.?—

I look for your co-operation.

"'Oh, to be in England now that Noel's near.'

So, one might adapt one of Kipling's lines."—Indian Paper.

What do they know of Browning who only Kipling know?

"Lady wishes to travel in exquisite lingerie."—Daily Paper.

By all means; but why should she be content to wear an inferior quality when she is stationary?

[pg 116]


A new terror—or else a new attraction—has been added to the British Drama. Mr. Walter
Hackett has brought the scent of the cinema across the footlights. When he wants to inform you of certain
episodes in the hero's past career, or let you know what he is doing when he is out of sight, he throws the main
stage into darkness and lights up a smaller one on which he gives you as many as six little tabloid plays within
the play.

Such a scheme has its obvious conveniences for the playwright, and should greatly simplify the difficulties of
stage-craft. Those introductory statements which are required to explain the opening conditions and need such
adroit handling will no longer be necessary. You just put everybody wise by a series of tableaux parlants. No
longer need the author worry about the best way of conveying to his audience the details of any action that
takes place off the stage; he just turns on a playlet and there it is. Altogether, with a couple of the unities
disposed of, he ought to have a much easier time.

On the other hand he is going to have trouble with his principal stage and put his actors to the inconvenience
of playing in a painfully congested area. Thus, in Mr. Todd's Experiment, the permanent scene was the hall of
a house, with a large tapestry occupying more than half of the wall. Lurking behind this tapestry was the stage
for the tabloids, and the general company had to crowd themselves into the remainder or wander forlornly
about in the space in front of the tapestry. The playlets again are almost bound to be just concentrated
episodes, probably elemental in theme and certainly elementary in treatment.

The excuses for their interpolation in Mr. Todd's Experiment were not marked by a very great subtlety. There
was really none for the first three, which simply relieved Mr. Todd of the tedious recital of the hero's
disillusionments in love. The next two were introduced by way of illustrating his alleged gift of clairvoyance;
and the last served frankly to fill in the interval while the rest of the company was away at dinner. The general
effect of all these desultory little Guignols was perhaps rather cheap, and not very complimentary to the
intelligence of those of us who had outgrown a childish penchant for peep-shows.

Punch, February 11th, 1920.

Punch, February 11th, 1920.

Willoughby Todd (Mr. Holman Clark). "Be your old true self. Make the women adore you."

Arthur John Carrington (Mr. Owen Nares). "Your advice is good. I will now take off my beard and be Owen
Nares once more."

Mr. Todd's Experiment (for I have spoken only of Mr. Hackett's) was to restore a blasé and valetudinarian
young man of thirty to a proper state of energy by recalling the memories of his past loves and so reviving in
him a desire to stand well in the eyes of the sex. For this purpose he produces (1) a bunch of wood-violets to
suggest (through the nose) the environment of his first passion; (2) a specially-tipped brand of cigarettes to
revive (through the mouth) the sentiment of his second; and a gramophone record to recover (through the ear)
the associations of his third.

So well does he succeed that the hero pulls himself together, shaves off his beard, becomes our Owen Nares
again, and sallies forth, habited for conquest, to pay calls on all the three. From all the three he retires
disillusioned, having found them as egoistic as himself, and in the end finds solace rather shamelessly, in the
love of a devoted slave who might have been his for the taking any time in the last several years.

The matter was pleasant enough, but its interest must, I think, have left us indifferent if it had not been for the
diversion afforded by the playlets. While the idea was original, the presentation of it seemed to have a touch
of amateurishness, though I would not go so far as to agree with the old fogey, played by Mr. Fred Kerr, who
pronounced the scheme to be "all Tommy rot." With the exception of one character—the devoted
slave—the lightness of the dialogue, mildly cynical, was due not so much to its wit as to the absence of
ponderable stuff. The easy trick, so popular with the modern playwright, of letting the audience down in the
middle of a serious situation was illustrated by the hero when, being in deadly earnest, he tells every woman
in turn that she is the only woman he has ever loved.

As Mr. Todd, Mr. Holman Clark was as fresh as he always is; but Mr. Owen Nares could hardly hope to
satisfy the exigent demands of adoration in the part of young Carrington. Who, indeed, could sustain his
reputation as a figure of romance when addressed as "Arthur-John"? Mr. Fred Kerr, who played Martin
Carrington, the cantankerous uncle, cannot help being workmanlike; but he was asked to repeat himself too
much. The best performance was that of Miss Marion Lorne, in the part of the hero's one devout lover, Fancy
Phipps; her quiet sense of humour, salted with a slight American tang, kept the whole play together.


"Tea for Three."

Playwright Mr. Roi Cooper-Megrue, and principal players Miss Fay Compton, the wife; Mr. Stanley Logan,
the friend, and Mr. A.E. Matthews, the husband, made a first-rate thing of two-thirds of Tea for Three.

The wife is without blemish physically or morally. The husband is faithful with a single-minded fidelity in
thought, word and deed that looks (and, I am assured by equally innocent victims, is) positively deadly. The
friend "frits and flutters" about in a distinctly casual, not to say polygamous, mood, but has one sacred place
in his untidy heart in which the wife is enshrined. He can manage to sustain life so long as he may come to
triangular tea on Thursdays. But the faithful husband puts his foot on that.

Hence the stolen lunch for two with which the play opens. Philosophy there is, and very good philosophy too,
from the flutterer and fritter, and such love-making as every virtuous woman (at heart a minx) allows. She is
sorry, doubtless, for the suffering she causes, but (this is my gloss, not, I think, the author's) is really enjoying
it like anything and taking jolly good care to look her best. Then follow little lies and as little and as needless
and quite innocent indiscretions; and the jealous husband on the rampage.

Punch, February 11th, 1920.
All this excellently put together, seasoned with wisdom and wit and most capably played; Miss Fay Compton,
admirable example of a pretty actress who won't let herself be captured by stage tricks, making everything
explicable except her continued love for her intolerable bore (and Turk) of a husband; Mr. A.E. Matthews [pg
117] handling a desperately unsympathetic part, which was already beginning to look impossible, with great
adroitness; and Mr. Stanley Logan, though badly hampered by a shocking cold and fighting a coughing
audience, carrying the bulk of the good talk and lifting it gently over the few difficult places with a brilliant
and well-concealed art.

Thus till towards the end of the Second Act. Then a bad, a very bad, fairy stuffed into Mr. Megrue's head the
idea of the suicide lottery. The infuriated husband, finding his wife in her friend's room at 7 p.m. (frightfully
improper hour), sternly offers his bowler (or Derby) hat, in which are two cards. The one marked with a cross
is drawn by the flutterer and means that he is for it. He is to kill himself within twenty-four hours.... And all
this with perfect seriousness.

You will see how the Third Act of a comedy which had tied itself in this kind of a knot simply could not be
played. The author had completely sacrificed plausibility, and it was not uninteresting to see him twisting and
turning, hedging and bluffing to save it; and a little uncomfortable to note the conviction oozing away out of
the performers.... Queer also that it isn't more generally recognised that to come to the theatre with a loud
persistent cough is a form of premeditated robbery with violence.



The latest development in connection with the International Brotherhood movement is the establishment of a
College of Correct Cosmopolitan Pronunciation. The need of such an institution has long been clamant, and
the visit of the Ukrainian choir has brought matters to a crisis. At their concert last week several strong
women wept like men at their inability to pronounce the title of one of the most beautiful items on the
programme—"Shtchedryk." Again, as Mr. Smillie must have bitterly reflected, how can we possibly
render justice to the cause of Bolshevism so long as we are unable to pronounce the names of its leaders
correctly? The same remark applies to the Russian Ballet; the Yugo-Slav handbell-ringers; the vegetarian
Indian-club swingers from the Karakoram Himalayas; the polyphonic gong-players from North Borneo; the
synthetic quarter-tone quartette from San Domingo; the anthropophagous back-chat comedians from the
Solomon Islands; not to mention a host of other interesting companies, troupes, corroborees and pow-wows
which are now in our midst for the purpose of cementing the confraternity of nations.

Suitable premises for the College have been secured in the heart of Mayfair and a competent staff of
instructors has already been appointed, who, with the aid of gramophones, will be able to train the students to
perfection in the requisite command of the most explosive gutturals, labials and sibilants. Doctor
Prtnkeivitchsvtnshchitzky will be the director of the College; Dr. Seton Watson and Mr. Wickham Steed have
kindly undertaken to supervise the Yugo-Slav section, and the list of patrons and patronesses includes the
names of the Prince of Prinkipo; Madame Karsavina, so long a victim of the mispronunciation of her
melodious surname; Dr. Douglas Hyde, the famous Irish scholar; Prenk-Bib-Doda, the Albanian chieftain; Sir
Rabindranath Tagore; Lord Parmoor; Sir Thomas Beecham and the Dowager Begum of Bhopal.


Punch, February 11th, 1920.


Punch, February 11th, 1920.



Pegasus at Polo.

"The following teams have entered for the Lahore Polo Tournament:—4th Cavalry,
17th Cavalry, 21st Lancers, 33rd Cavalry, 39th Central India Horse, Lahore, the Fox-hunters
from Meerut, and the Royal Air Horse from Delhi."—Civil and Military Gazette.

An Up-to-date Costume.

"For your evening dress I advise you simply to buy a piece of broad silver ribbon, pass it
twice round the waist and knot it at the side, with a little bunch of berries and leaves caught
into the knot."—Ladies' Paper.

[pg 118]


Wild Scenes at a Meeting of Protest.

An Indignation Meeting, to protest against the outrageous attacks levelled against Georgian writers and critics
by Professor Noyes in his recent lecture at the Royal Institution and by Mr. A.D. Godley in an article in the
current Nineteenth Century, was held last Saturday evening at the Klaxon Hall. The chair was taken by Mr.
Edward Marsh, C.M.G., who was supported on the platform by a compact bevy of Georgian bards; but at an
early stage of the meeting it became apparent that a majority of those present in the body of the hall were
extremists of violent type, and eventually, as will be seen, the proceedings ended in something approximating
to a free fight.

Mr. Marsh began by a frank confession. He had taken a First Class in the Cambridge Classical Tripos. But the
days in which he had been steeped to the lips in Latin and Greek were long past, never to return. For many
years he had not composed hexameters, elegiacs or iambics. He had thrown in his lot with insurgent youth,
not as a competitor or rival, but as an advocate, an admirer and an adviser. Indeed, if he might venture to say
so, he sometimes acted as a brake on the wheels of the triumphal Chariot of Free Verse. He was not an
adherent of the fantastic movement known as "Dada." He had no desire to abolish the family, morality, logic,
memory, archæology, the law and the prophets. A little madness was a splendid thing, but it must be
methodic. Still, for the rest he was a Georgian, heart and soul, and it pained him when men who ought to
know better raised the standard of reaction and sought to discredit the achievements of his protégés. These
attacks could not be passed over in silence, and the meeting had been convened to consider how they should
be met, whether by a reasoned protest or by retaliation.

Miss Messalina Stoot, who punctuated her remarks with the clashing of a pair of cymbals, observed that as a
thorough-going Dadaist she had no sympathy with the half-hearted attitude of the Chairman. It was a battle
between Dada and Gaga, and emphatically Dada must win.

Mr. Mimram Stoot, who accompanied himself on the sarrusophone, endorsed the iconoclastic views of his
sister. The only poetry that counted was that which caused spinal chills and issued from husky haughty lips.
The moanings of mediæval molluscs were of no avail, though they might excite the crustacean fossils of


Punch, February 11th, 1920.
Oxford, the home of lost causes.

Mr. Seumas O'Gambhaoil wished to protest against Mr. Noyes' statement that there were ten thousand
Bolshevist poets in our midst. This was a shameless underestimate of the total, which was at least twice that
figure. Mr. Godley's offence, however, was much worse, as he was an Irishman, though of the self-expatriated
type to which Goldsmith and Moore belonged. The rest of Mr. O'Gambhaoil's speech was delivered in Irish,
but he was understood to advocate a repatriation of all Irish renegades to be tried and dealt with by the Sinn
Fein Republic.

Mr. Caradoc Cramp applauded the sentiments of the last speaker, but considered that he avoided the real
issue. The Chairman had declared himself a Georgian, but that was not enough. The worst enemies of Free
Verse were to be found in that camp. In technique and even in thought there was little to choose between
many so-called Georgians and the most effete and reactionary Victorians. He alluded to the War poets, or
rather the "Duration" poets, most of whom were already back-numbers. Between these and the Post-war poets,
the true super-Georgians or paulo-post-Georgians, it was necessary to make a clean cut. To protest against
Messrs. Godley and Noyes was a mere waste of time and energy. They might just as well protest against the
existence of an extinct volcano or the skeleton of the brontosaurus. The real danger to be faced was the
intrinsic subjectivity of the early and mid-Georgian poets, of whom the Chairman had been so powerful and
consistent a supporter. He accordingly called for volunteers to storm the platform, and, a large number having
responded to his appeal, Mr. Marsh was dislodged from the Chair after a gallant fight. A resolution of
adherence to the principles of "Dada" having been passed by a large majority, the meeting broke up to the
strains of the famous song—

a e ou o youyouyou i e ou o



beng bong beng bang

boumboum boumboum boumboum.

"Gentleman, Interested in Tattooing and largely covered, would like to hear from other
enthusiasts to compare notes."—Times.

We trust the "bare-back" mode is not going to spread to the more modest sex.

From a "stores" circular:—

"This Week's Economy Offers.

Honey in Sections, each 3/9, three for 14/0."

The economy consists, of course, in buying them one at a time.


Punch, February 11th, 1920.

In a limbo of desolate waters,

In the void of a flood-stricken plain,

You will find them—the sons and the daughters

Of tropical rain.

For when rivers are one with the ocean,

When the ricefields and roads are no more,

There's a feeling of magic, a notion

Of fairyland lore;

And the babies of Burma can revel

In a nursery of whirlpool and slime,

Where it thunders and rains like the devil

For weeks at a time.

They paddle their rafts through the jungle;

They swim through a network of leaves;

They clamber with never a bungle

To dive from the eaves.

'Tis an orgy of goblins, an image

Of nudity flouting the flood,

Of shorn-headed brownies who scrimmage

And splash in the mud.

As we row neath a tamarind, one'll

Roll off with a gesture of fright,

Bobbing up like a cork at our gunwale

And gurgling delight.

Punch, February 11th, 1920.

But never a stanza shall measure

The joy of that desperate crew

Of four-year-olds scouring for treasure

Astride a bamboo.

Their fathers smoke, huddled in sorrow,

Their mothers chew betel and fret,

And the pariahs howl for a morrow

Which shall not be wet;

The plovers wheel o'er them complaining,

And it's only the babies who pray

That the skies may be raining and raining

For ever and aye.


Another Mesopotamian Scandal.

"The commodious and fast ss. 40 will leave Basrah for Baghdad and all intermediate ports on
Saturday morning at 9 a.m. Passengers will embark at 10 a.m."—Basrah Times.



We are more than ever convinced of the superior wearing qualities of woollen.

"The Government of the Commonwealth of Australia agrees to the admission on passport of

Indian merchants, students, tourests, with there irrespective wives."—Indian Paper.

But ought any Government to encourage this sort of thing?

[pg 119]

Another Mesopotamian Scandal. 41

Punch, February 11th, 1920.

Dancing Man (at Galleries of New Primitive Art Society). "One would have thought, with such a good floor,
they might have put up some better pictures."

(By Mr. Punch's Staff of Learned Clerks.)

Following the iconoclastic spirit of the age, Mr. Barry Pain has essayed in The Death of Maurice
(Skeffington) the revolutionary experiment of a murder mystery tale that does not contain (a) a love interest,
(b) a wrongly suspected hero, (c) a baffled inspector, (d) an amateur, but inspired, detective. It would be a
grateful task to add that the result proves the superfluity of these time-worn accessories. But the cold fact is
that, to me at least, the proof went the other way. From the first I was painfully aware of a lack of snap about
the whole business, and I am more than suspicious that the author himself may have shared my unwilling
indifference. Maurice was an artistic bachelor, a landowner, a manufacturer of jam, a twin (with a bogie gift
of knowing at any moment the relative position of his other half, which might have been worked for far more
effect than is actually obtained from it), and a reputation of making enemies. He had also an unusual
neighbour, in the person of a young woman whose unconventionality led her to perambulate the common at
midnight, playing the first bars of Solveig's Song upon the flute. One night, at the close of the first chapter, a
gun was heard. But you are wrong to suppose (however naturally) that the flute-player was the victim. It was
Maurice. And of course the problem was, who did it. I have told you my own experience of the working out;
nothing written by Mr. Barry Pain can ever be really dull, just as no story starting with a mysterious murder
can lack a certain intrigue; but the fact remains that my wish, heroically resisted, to look on to the last chapter
was prompted more often by impatience than by any compelling curiosity. Others may be happier.

Punch, February 11th, 1920.

The author of A Journal of Small Things has done much to make us understand the sufferings of stricken
France and the more intimate sorrows of war. Chill Hours (Melrose) deals with that dark period before the
end, when, to some, it seemed all but certain that the will to victory must fail. Of the three parts of this
gracious little book the first consists of six sketches of life behind the lines, life both gentle and simple, as
affected by war. "Odette in Pink Taffeta," an episode of bereavement, is in particular exquisitely visualised.
"Their Places" and "The Second Hay" treat, with a quiet intensity of conviction, of the absolutely deadening
absorption, by overwork and anxiety, of peasant wives and children left to carry on in the absence of their
men. The third part is a series of hospital vignettes. They do not attempt to be too cheery, but they have the
stamp of realised truth. "Nostalgia," the second part, is in another mood—recalled memories of the
beauties of a loved land and of dear common things affectionately seen. To those who dare look at war with
open eyes and who take pleasure in sincere and beautifully-phrased writing I commend Mrs. Helen Mackay's
book without reserve.

Somewhere in Christendom (Allen and Unwin) is somewhat [pg 120] embarrassing to a reviewer, for it has
the theme of a great book with the manner of a trivial one. It is the history of a very much smaller nation,
Ethuria, left despoiled and starving at the end of a nine-years' war, in which its great neighbours have used it
as a battle-ground. Revolution begins, but a woman prophet steps in and switches it off in an unusual
direction. The Ethurians perfect among themselves that fellowship which is the nice ideal behind many nasty
manifestations in the real world, and, when next they are invaded by neighbouring nations anxious to use
them as an excuse for belligerency, they resolutely stick to their guns (only the metaphor is most unsuitable),
refuse to find any cause of quarrel with their "foreign brothers," and finally persuade them to abandon the
ideals of war, so that peace on earth becomes a reality at last. Here is the book's theme; its working out allows
for a boxing match between the President of Hygeia and the Foreign Secretary of Tritonia as the minimum of
hostilities; a wicked newspaper lord, who pulls strings in both countries, and a faithful butler to the Royal
Family, who becomes assistant state nursemaid and cleans silver as a hobby. Though I quite agree with Miss
Evelyn Sharp and the Ethurians that it is love that makes the world go round, I am not so sure that either hers
or theirs is the best way of advocating their common cause.

You may remember an original and striking book of papers about the theatre under the title of Buzz-Buzz. Its
author, James E. Agate, has now followed it with another, called, rather grimly, Responsibility (Richards).
You will be absolutely correct in guessing that this is not a treatise on revue, being indeed an autobiographical
novel of (I feel bound to add) precisely the same calibre as, in the sister realm of drama, made the name of
Manchester at one period a word of awe. Why do these young Mancunians recollect to such stupendous
purpose? Here is Mr. Agate, with an introduction of forty-four pages, all about time and infinity, before he can
get his protagonist so much as started anywhere at all. It is a little like one of those demon-scenes out of the
pantomimes he describes so lovingly—"Do so! May safety and success attend on Crusoe." But of
course the subsequent action is more responsible. I imagine Mr. Agate's picture of young-man life in the
Manchester of the nineties to be very much like the real thing. Relaxation was not wholly remote from it.
Cotton and commandments were broken with equal facility. Also you may be impressed by the number of
Germans in it. Finally, after telling us, sometimes engagingly, sometimes verbosely, all he can remember
about Lancashire, Mr. Agate brings his hero to Town, levers him along, year after year, and gets (almost on
his last page) to his big situation. I won't spoil it. Responsibility, which might better have been called
"Garrulity," is a novel containing boredom and charm in about equal proportions; not to mention promise for
the days when its author has learned to discipline his too-ready pen.

From the early part of 1915 until the end of 1917 Admiral Sir Reginald Bacon commanded at Dover, and from
the preface to The Dover Patrol (Hutchinson) we can gather that he is smarting under a considerable sense of
injustice and injury. Of the merits of his case—he frankly describes his dismissal as brutal—I do
not pretend to judge, but can safely assume that the other side have something to say for themselves, if they

Punch, February 11th, 1920.
care to. However, you are not to suppose that this is a bitter book. Most generous are the praises which the
Admiral bestows upon his subordinates; his venom he reserves for just the chosen few who, no doubt, can
bear it. Apart from personal recriminations, of which some of us must be more than tired, these two portly
volumes are of real historical value. You will find in them not only a record of actual achievements, often
carried out under desperately difficult conditions, but also of projects which for one reason or another were
never fulfilled. "Why don't we try to land on the Belgian coast?" was a question our amateur strategists were
never weary of asking. Well, here is their answer. Here, too, are countless photographs, charts, plans and
diagrams—a really wonderful collection. Even if you are not in the least interested in Sir Reginald's
grievances you will find him a writer who has a lot of useful things to say and knows how to say them.


Both. "Hm! He looks respectable—


Punch, February 11th, 1920.

—still, one never knows."

"The normal average amount of clothing required in a temperate climate such as ours is: One
pound weight of clothing to every one stone weight of the body.... Thus the clothes of a child
weighing 3 stones should be 3lb., and for a man or woman weighing 10 stones the clothes
should weigh 10lb. This is a definite statement; at any rate, disprove it who can."—Sir
James Cantlie in "The Daily Mail."

We gave instructions to our Mathematical specialist to work out the figures, and his report is that he finds
them substantially correct.

End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume
158, February 11, 1920, by Various


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